Tatsuro Taira (-520) vs. Carlos Hernandez (+390)
I typically stay away from parlays when betting sports but I think there’s some value in two guys on this card I can’t see losing. The first is one of the first fights of the night, as Tatsuo Taira takes on Carlos Hernandez.
The undefeated Taira comes into this having won his first four UFC fights in decisive fashion, most recently dismantling Edgar Chairez over three rounds in July. He holds notable edges in this fight, including a 7x edge in submissions and 2x in takedowns, as well as his striking being better.
Hernandez also has four fights in his time with the UFC, which includes a DWCS debut and is 3-1 over that time with all three wins coming via split or technical decision. Simply put, he’s outmatched here and this one likely ends in the first round.
Hyung-Sung Park (-500) vs. Shannon Ross (+400)
We’re jumping up to the main card for this one to close out the parlay on another big favorite Hyung Sung Park (vs. Shannon Ross). Another undefeated guy, Park joined the promotion via road to the UFC (two R1 finishes) before a third-round submission in his UFC debut back in March. Now facing a guy in Ross with no ground game to speak of, the path for Park here is clear if he sticks to the plan.
Ross comes in floundering in an already shallow flyweight division, having lost three straight all inside of two rounds. Loko for a similar outcome here.
ML Parlay: Taira/Park (-230 at BetMGM Sportsbook)
Song Kenan (+120) vs. Kevin Jousset (-142)
Kenan joined the UFC back in 2017 and has largely faced a murder row in the welterweight ranks, drawing Alex Morono (decision loss), Max Griffin (TKO loss), and most recently, Ian Garry (TKO loss). It’s what he showed against Garry, however, which gives me optimism for him in this spot, giving Garry a close fight until the third round.
Bouncing back in August to beat Rolando Bedoya, Kenan draws a guy making his second UFC appearance in Kevin Jousset. Jousset was given a relative layup in his debut, facing Kiefer Crosbie who was 2-2 in his four MMA fights prior, all in lower-tier MMA circuits.
As we saw in his fight with Garry, Kenan can stand and strike with the best in the welterweight division, and he has a big edge in that department here with 4x significant strikes landed per minute. He’ll need to keep this one upright, but I like for him to do just that and grind out a decision win.
Pick: Song Kenan (+120 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Anthony Smith (+190) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. (-225)
Since this one opened with Smith a +220 underdog, we’ve seen some buyback on Lionheart and I can absolutely see why. What he lacks in striking (compared to Rountree), he makes up for on the ground, with 3.5x the submission average and nearly 5x the takedown average.
Rountree’s striking is better, make no mistake, but a veteran like Smith has made a career of avoiding the heavy damage. The problem now, however, is it’s now or never for Smith, and I expect him to take chances in this one in an attempt to get the finish and insert himself back in the light heavyweight conversation.
Rountree is well on his way there, having won four straight fights in the UFC, three of which have come inside of the distance. His 75% career finish rate trails only a few guys in the division, one of which is Smith himself at 89%. That said, I don’t think this one is shaded to the under quite enough, and we see one of these guys get it done before the final bell.
As of Tuesday, this prop is not yet available, but I’m estimating it around -200 and think anything less than -250 is a fire.